The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, released the 2012 report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program back in November. The program authorizes the SEC to reward whistle-blowers for information leading to million-dollar enforcement actions.
Last year saw the first payout from the program. In August, the SEC announced that a tip from a whistle-blower had resulted in the bust of a multimillion dollar fraud, netting the tipster about $50,000. Whistle-blower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected as a result of their tips.
The SEC received over 3,000 tips last year. Most of the allegations, 18.2 percent, had to do with corporate disclosure and financials. The second-most common tips involved fraud related to unregistered companies, such as with Ponzi schemes in some cases.
As the program becomes more well-known, more individuals could step forward to report the financial misdeeds of corporations. "Just how substantive those tips are will become evident in 2013," Jaclyn Jaeger wrote this week in the story, "Whistleblowers to play a bigger role in enforcement in 2013," on the website ComplianceWeek.com.
"And when more awards paid to whistleblowers start making headlines, the volume of tips could grow even higher," the story says.
Not everyone likes whistle-blowers. Many face retaliation from co-workers and management, according to a 2012 survey by NAVEX Global, an ethics and compliance consultant. Certainly the most well-known whistle-blowers in recent history, Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking State Department cables, enjoy somewhat dubious -- even treasonous in Manning's case -- reputations.
What do you think?
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